Classic trench coat
A review of Robson Coat
The Robson coat is a classic double-breasted trench coat, with storm flaps at the front and back, epaulettes at the shoulders, straps over the cuffs, and a tie-belt. It has pockets with flaps set into the front princess seams and two-part sleeves. It has a collar with reveres, which looks equally good open or buttoned up. The coat is unlined and designed to be finished with bias bound seams throughout. (I didn’t do that for my version, see below.)
Sewaholic patterns are especially good for pear-shapes with a higher waist/hip ratio, and the style of this coat is fit and flare. I cut a straight size 8 and the only adjustment I needed was to shorten the sleeves by a couple of centimetres.
The pattern is categorised as for advanced sewists, which I thought fair. There are no elements which are particularly challenging but it is an involved make that takes time and requires accurate sewing. In any case, working with waterproof fabric can be challenging enough (such as no ‘give’, unpicking sometimes leaves needle marks). The instructions and illustrations are clear but contained on each side of a single sheet, so there is a certain amount of assumed knowledge, similar to the main commercial pattern companies. The project took me about three days in total to complete. I used showerproof fabric and it would also work well in gabardine and sturdy cotton twill/drill.
As mentioned, the pattern is designed to be finished with bias bound seams. This could be a great feature but I was put off by the requirement for 11 metres, which could add significantly to the garment cost if you purchase bias binding or to the time taken if you make it. I wanted a warm version for autumn, so created a lining. This was straightforward to do (there are plenty of tutorials and blog posts explaining how to create a coat or jacket lining), although I did end up with quite narrow front pieces to attach to the front garment facings. If you don’t want a lining but want to limit the amount of bias binding needed, flat fell seams could be used for the seams on the body and sleeves, with bias binding used on the bottom hem, pocket edges and front facing edges, for example.
I enjoyed making this coat and am very pleased with the outcome. If you’re looking for a classic trench, this has all the features.